Snitch ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The good:

-The Rock. Even though he's totally miscast as an everyman completely out of his depth in the world of Mexican drug cartels -- my favorite scene is the one where he's escorted into a drug den full of dirty money by ten "bad dudes" and he's TALLER AND WIDER THAN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM -- he gives a surprisingly soulful performance. He's working in a darker and more serious vein than I typically like to see him in, but he actually does some fine acting here.

-An worthy ("true") thriller premise about mandatory minimum sentencing laws and a father who agrees to help the government make drug busts in order to get his son out of jail. The early scenes reminded me of a great, gritty Phil Karlson flick.

THE BAD:

-The happy, easy ending. In its first hour, SNITCH does an admirable job of laying out this exceedingly complicated and cruelly Draconian world of modern drug law. The Rock's character gets in way over his head, and the law, rather than helping him, keeps pushing him deeper in the interest of getting bigger and bigger busts. The set-up really demands a very dark resolution, probably with the deaths of some (or maybe all) the major characters, good and bad. But instead, Ric Roman Waugh ties everything up in a nice, pat bow. The bad guys get arrested, the heroes are cleared (and they get lots of reward money!), and The Rock gets his son out of jail. The "mega happy ending" in WAYNE'S WORLD was relatively restrained compared to this.

-Susan Sarandon, who is a wonderful actress giving a very disinterested performance in a very underwritten part.

THE AWESOME:

-Barry Pepper's beard.